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The art of simple - unmitigated audacity
November 5th, 2009
12:43 am
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The art of simple
Most people who've done programming, or math, know just how hard it is to achieve "simple". So when you see something that's simple and elegant, and even obvious, don't be fooled - getting there probably took a lot of work.

Not surprisingly I succumbed and got the "The Complete Fun House Sessions" (Stooges). And it's just striking how much work goes into really simple, no frills rock'n'roll. There's 7 CD's, 142 tracks, all of it takes of one of the 7 songs on the Fun House album (or studio talk). I've been having so much fun with this, listening to them work the songs over and over, modulating tempos, changing focus a bit, leaning a bit into a riff, easing off a bit here, etc.

There's this really simple garage rock song "Loose". It's a classic, a band leaning into a song and just letting it rip; a snarling guitar on an E G A progression, a steady bass line and drums propelled forward in sheer abandon. And Iggy pop singing deep lyrics such as "I feel free / to be dancing baby / I'll stick it / deep inside", and nothing much else. Simple? Sure - but no less than 32 takes to get there. At one point the sound engineer suggest they issue and albums of "22 versions of Loose". Little did he know that, one day they would.

Or how about "Down in the Street" - one of my favorite songs. I love how this powerful rocker is majestic and at the same time light and raw, and I love the way it morphs into something close to a jazz trio (on electro shock, possibly), winding down the song in a cool, relaxed swing. And more than anything I love the angry cat Ron Asheton seems to have loaded up in his guitar, and the bouncing bass riff that Scott Asheton use to hurl the song forward. And again - 16 takes, slowly evolving the song into the right forward, slowly getting to that relaxed, blissful simpleness.

There's inspiration here. There's a message that sometimes, trying again, trying harder is needed to get there - and a message that with effort, simple is possible.

Current Music: Stooges - Down in the Street (16 takes)
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